Hey kids. It’s March, and in remembrance of the day when Julius Caesar got perforated on the way to work, I’m joining 16 great authors to give you a chance to win copies of all our books.
It’s called The Ides of March Book Giveaway. It runs from March 1-15th, and we’ll give away one copy of each of the following to the lucky winner:
THE FIREBIRD (ARC) by Susanna Kearsley
A twin-stranded story that blends modern romance with 18th-century Jacobite intrigue, traveling from Scotland to Russia, from the NY Times bestselling author of The Winter Sea
THE TWELFTH ENCHANTMENT by David Liss
In Regency England, at the dawn of the industrial era, magic and technology clash and the fate of the nation rests in the hands of a penniless young woman
An epic adventure fantasy with a decidedly steampunk edge where magic – and the power of the Cold Mages – hold sway
THE MAPMAKER’S WAR by Ronlyn Domingue
A mesmerizing, utterly original adventure about love and loss and the redemptive power of the human spirit–releases March 5th!
DRACULA IN LOVE by Karen Essex
“If you read only one more vampire novel, let it be this one!” -C.W. Gortner, author of The Last Queen & The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
“A novel within a novel honoring what we love most about Austen: her engaging stories, rapier wit, and swoon worthy romance. Pitch perfect, brilliantly crafted.” —Austenprose. From the bestselling author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
THIEFTAKER by DB Jackson
Combining elements of traditional fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery and historical fiction, Thieftaker will appeal to readers who enjoy intelligent fantasy and history with an attitude
Glamour in Glass follows the lives of the main characters from Shades of Milk and Honey, a loving tribute to the works of Jane Austen in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence
DEVIL’S GATE by FJ Lennon
Devil’s Gate is exhilarating urban fantasy, with first class writing and characters that are unforgettable beyond the last page
THE CROOKED BRANCH by Jeanine Cummins
“Wonderfully written, with strong, compelling characters, it is a deeply satisfying combination of sweeping historical saga and modern family drama, a gentle reminder of the ever-reaching influence of family”–Booklist
A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS by Marie Brennan
The story of Isabella, Lady Trent, the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist, and her thrilling expedition to Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever
THE RECKONING by Alma Katsu
(Yes, I know. It’s a much classier crowd than you’d expect to have me.)
One set of books will be given away per 500 entries. Winners will be notified within 48 hours of the contest’s end. You can enter here. And this is all due to the hard work of Alma Katsu, who got us all together. Many thanks, Alma.
Good news, everybody: RED, WHITE, AND BLOOD is a finalist in the 2013 Audies for Suspense and Thrillers, which recognize “distinction in audiobook and spoken word entertainment.” As much as I’d like to take credit, it’s all due to Bronson Pinchot, who once again did a brilliant job bringing my scary thoughts to life. (Bronson previously won Audible.com’s “Narrator of the Year” in 2010, in part for his work on the first Nathaniel Cade book, BLOOD OATH. He’s also just an incredibly nice guy.)
The awards will be MC’ed this year by Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket books, on May 30 in New York.
I’ve been asked by quite a few people when the next book in the Nathaniel Cade series will be done. Until now, I’ve mumbled some vague replies about a top-secret project, which probably made them think I was doing nothing but snacking on Cheetos and watching movies on Netflix.
Now the news is out: before I move on to Cade Book Four, I’m writing a book called BIMINI, about the Fountain of Youth. Here’s the announcement, which went out on Publishers Marketplace last week:
Christopher Farnsworth’s BIMINI, an action-packed thriller updating the legend of the fountain of youth and the conspiracy led by people whose vitality depends on it, to Rachel Kahan at William Morrow, in a pre-empt, by Alexandra Machinist at Janklow & Nesbit. (NA) Film rights to Tom Jacobson and Monnie Wills.
The book is inspired by an original idea from movie producers (and all-around good guys) Tom Jacobson and Monnie Wills. I’m having a lot of fun with it right now, and I think anyone who likes Cade is going to have a great time reading this, too. Once again, this is all due to my brilliant agent, Alexandra Machinist.
And that’s about all I can say before mumbling some vague stuff about how this is still top secret for now.
As for Cade, I am going to get back to him — he won’t let me rest until I do — by the end of the year. I’ll have more news on Book Four once it’s finished.
Anyway. Thanks to all of you who keep asking about Cade, and for all the kind words about the books.
A couple of years ago my mom found a box with all my elementary school papers. In addition to some embarrassing pictures — I rocked a bowl cut for far longer than the style would allow — I came across one of those questionnaires that teachers have their kids fill out when it’s Friday and the clock is counting down toward the weekend. It asked about my parents, my pets, and my brother. And then there was the one question that still stands out to me today:
“What do you think you want to be when you grow up?”
My reply, in shaky block letters: “A writer like Stan Lee.”
I was six or seven when I wrote that. I barely knew what a writer did, but I knew that Stan Lee got to make up stories about Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four and a bunch of other super-heroes. That sounded pretty good to me.
When I was 39, my first novel was (finally) published and I was invited to speak on a panel at Comic-Con. That would have been a dream come true by itself. But as I was checking into the hotel, I realized I was standing in line right in front of Stan the Man himself.
I told him something he’d probably heard a lot before: “I became a writer because of you.”
He gave me the famous smile, shook my hand, and then that voice that I’d heard narrating Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends said, “Bless your heart. Thank you.”
Today he’s ninety years old and still Smilin’ Stan. You could do a lot worse for role models.
Thank you, Stan. Happy Birthday.
Jean and I have been touring schools lately, looking for the right place for our older daughter. In between the smart-boards and the iPads and the progressive learning methods, it’s been one punch of nostalgia after another: the smell of modeling clay mixed with sack lunches; the same posters that were up on the walls of my own elementary school, the same cursive writing charts, and, in one library, the same books.
Specifically, the Crestwood House Monster Series of books.
I’d almost written these off to faulty memory until I saw this one in a Halloween display: The Wolf Man.
And then it all came flooding back. The Monster Series was a line of books that gathered up a bunch of (surprisingly accurate) monster lore and then included (surprisingly detailed) plot summaries of the great monster movies of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. The Collister Elementary library had the entire set, and since I wasn’t allowed to read comic books in class, I checked out every one of them. To this day, there are some horror films I haven’t seen — for instance, I’ve never seen Universal’s original Mummy series — but I know how they ended, because I read the Crestwood House books. This was the Internet before the Internet: a corner of the library filled with specialized knowledge, just waiting there for someone willing to seek it out. My path to writing The President’s Vampire started right there.
(You can read an excellent history of the books here.)
As soon as I knew the proper name for the series, I went to Amazon and got some copies of my own, in order to keep wallowing in the resurfaced memories. One old favorite holds up very well: Mad Scientists.
It includes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Fu Manchu, The Invisible Man, and The Fly. It’s a treasure trove of very smart guys with really bad ideas. And it’s got some lovely still pictures from all of those horror flicks.
I’m still sort of amazed that no horrified parents’ groups ever rallied against these books, since they include murder, mayhem, occult practices, and all kinds of other crimes that kids are supposed to be sheltered from.
But then, as now, kids are tougher and smarter than we think — I don’t remember a single nightmare from one of these books, or, for that matter, from Channel 12’s month-long Halloween movie marathon. Instead, I think I began to realize that these were all stories — that there were common threads of legend and pure nonsense running through them, and if I worked at it, I might be able to unravel them and find the secrets for myself.
I’m thrilled to see that these books are still out there in the wild. The copies I picked up were discards from the Fergus Falls library, probably salvaged for less than a buck each, which seems like a shame.
Hopefully someone will buy up the rights to the Crestwood House series and bring them all back into print. I think there are a lot of kids who would appreciate this kind of field guide to the world of monsters; who might really be able to use books that explain away some of the mystery, and shed a little light in the dark.